The night before returning, I made a tool that combined a ceiling painting rod, a gardening tool with a hook, and a metal fork. I got up early, put on a ski suit and hat, pulled open the front door, and saw a snowstorm raging outside. The same doubts as the day before assailed my mind, but I repeated to myself, “I’m doing this today.”
I got into G500, drove to Oatlands Mill Road for the second consecutive day, and parked on the bridge. I stepped out of the car, sank in the snow, and walked to the stream. I cleared away pebbles and reached down into the water with the new tool, and it worked. I hooked it in the center of the drums, pulled the first part closer, and dropped it in the bucket. One by one, I pulled out the entire drum set.
I then noticed a garbage bag lying in the water. The bag was full of used diapers. It was not a pretty sight, but I had to get it out of the water because it polluted the stream. Everything worked out perfectly. Soon, the bags of trash were in the trunk.
As I was getting into my car to go to a landfill, a cable company van got stuck in the snow right in front of me. I was in the right place at just the right time, with a rope and a 4×4 vehicle. It felt as though God was guiding me from one act of kindness to the next. You can read more about it on the Thanking Duane story page.
I helped a person that day, made a new friend, and removed 83 pounds of trash from the stream. It felt good to be helpful! I could see that my actions had made a difference.